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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogs and Wikis

Hello, again.....I am currently enrolled in an Advanced Technology course and am now the proud owner of a Wiki, though I am yet unsure about what to do with it. I will try to maintain this blog as well. I am a bit behind as usual. It is just that I am beginning to tire of the whole Internet concept. I really believe it takes up too much of my precious time and is totally futile.  There, I said it. Would not my time be better used doing hands-on and creative work?  However, I don't want to be too far behind on technology......I will try and adjust but be true to the Greek philosophy of moderation is the best philosophy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I am back!

Inspired by my friend, Heidi, who has her own blog to make a puppet a day, I know I need to return and write about the class. We have nine boys now. Whew! One came with an assistant. Thank you. The other newest is quite verbal and quiet.

Still waiting on two FAPT meetings......these things take so long to happen! But the good news is: KJ. He peeled two oranges on Friday. This is such a great fine motor task! Lunchtime in the cafeteria is rather disturbing because the food is bad, the custodians rush you, and the general education kids go berserk because no adult sits with them. I manage to find food for my very picky eaters, admittedly, it might only be a mayonnaise sandwich. KJ had two oranges or tangerines. I started them for him and remarkably, he continued to peel. Then he actually ate them!  Later, bathroom went well for him till he realized in the class he had had an accident. This is real progress. The fact he recognized that he was wet. He is so into his own world. 

Things just come slowly. Adults have to be extra patient. Ah, yes, vitamin B12 helps me with staying calm.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your children are what they eat
My son likes to eat Pop-Tarts and I cannot lie, I do too. That is until today. After reviewing the ingredient list and the overall nutritional content of .......

Almost anything you feed your children. Read and research the ingredients. Shop around the outside of the store. Buy fresh when possible. Whole grain toast with  jam is much better than a poptart. Get up in time in the morning to put together a simple breakfast. Use a rice cooker to cook oatmeal or other hot cereals while dressing.  Let the children work the toaster and spread the jam. My mom always described poptarts as two pieces of cardboard with sugar in between them. Yes, they are convenient.....but so is a half of a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread. You pay for that convenience. 

Be courageous yourself when you are trying new foods. Ok, maybe you never liked carrots, but try them different ways. Steamed, grated in a salad, mixed with pineapple, put into muffins, etc. Get creative! As a parent, you are now educating your kids for a better world. 
Cook as a group.  Get excited. Emphasize colors when you set the table. Have fun!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A little bit of dirt....

The other day my little Marcus got off the bus and went over to his spot in the dirt to wait for the others. Several adults passed by, each one telling him in one way or another to get up so he wouldn't soil his pants, etc. I, the teacher, ignored the other adults and went over and sat beside him to see what he was doing. This little boy was observing nature at its best. He was watching ants entering and leaving a tiny hole in the ground. I let him be after encouraging his efforts.

My question is this: since when has it become wrong for a child to sit on the ground? Is this not what children's jeans are for? They are tough pants. Children should not have to worry about messing up their clothes while playing and observing nature.

So to all the little Marcuses out there, please, go ahead: look at ants, follow worms, dig in the dirt, pick wildflowers, and discover the beauties of the wonderful planet called Earth!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Being Alone

There...I said it. I am alone. Alone without family, alone without a team, alone without friends. I seem to just rub people the wrong way. Call it passion, but I take pride in developing activities for my students. I wonder what someone else would do.....would they make everyone sit at desks all morning and color? I try to work individually with kids or in small groups. The assistant has to keep the children in order. She has to not get so wrapped up in what she is doing that she isn't watching. Academics have to be done in the morning because they are tired after lunch.

But no one understands....I have no team. People wonder why I don't work in a team well. It is because I have never done it.....ever. I am always by myself, the lone class. I want to work with a staff with whom I can discuss issues.

Friday, July 2, 2010

It's Summer

Well, I know it has been a while since I wrote on this blog, but at least it means my life is busy. Summer School is one week down, four more to go. Most of my boys are there plus three more kids including two girls. We are taking an imaginary trip to Florida to see Mickey Mouse, learning and writing along the way. I unplugged the internet and added Pixwriter to the computer and don't hear any complaints. I see it this way: the kids are on the internet a lot at home so at school they need other experiences. Pixwriter encourages them to type and write. Writing and using their hands is much of what an adaptive class is all about. Which brings me to my latest creation. I can't wait to try their new name stencils with them. I used magnet sheet and art foam to cut stencils of their names. Then I stapled a loop so it could easily be lifted onto a metal slate on top of a sheet of paper. Now, add a pencil or marker and the highest form of personal pride can be done: that of writing their names. I am doing the same with dolch sight words, too.

Maybe this will help train their hand in letter formation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring flies by.

I have been lax about this blog. I get tired each day......working with nine boys, various adults, doing the planning by myself, takes a toll on energy. Oh, I still have it though.....not near ready to give it all up. I still learn something new each day.

Like today. We learned a new rule. If you have to pee, you go to the bathroom, not the playground. Boys will be boys. We had a quicky mini-lesson on what is appropriate behavior then read the book "Love You, Forever".

Today, was a day to make up work and try and give each boy some individual attention. It worked well. They worked hard.

VAAP notebooks are all finished and now we can maybe get down to some real learning and fun. That is quite sad really when you have to finish the testing first and then start working.

I will try to post more often.